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Grieving as a nation for the first time

17 December 2013, 13:30

Sunday's funeral tributes grasped at one's heart when it finally hit home that today is indeed Madiba's final stretch of his long walk to freedom.

The last 10 days of mourning clearly showed on the faces of mama Winnie and Graca and the nation was tired and emotional. Friends brought their special tributes and Kaunda reminded the national party veterans of how they robbed SA from this man becoming even bigger than he was already.

The one tribute that really grabbed one's soul was when an elderly Ahmed Katrada arrived at the podium to present his version of his beloved friend and spiritual brother. The voice trembling, his emotion threatening to overflow he shared his deepest feelings and sorrows with the whole world.

His message ended on a high when the following came forth: "When Govin Mbeki died, I lost a father, when Madiba died, I lost a brother. My life is in a void, I don't know who to turn to". There surely could not have been a dry eye present. We immediately shared this common feeling of experiencing a void and we needed to assess what to fill it with.

Two days earlier Madiba's assistant Zelda le Grange visited him lying in state at the union buildings together with Bono and his spouse. Seeing her letting out all these emotions as a white Afrikaner women, opened up something in my heart that I realized was very special.

I realized for the first time in the history of SA, we were mourning in unity, we were mourning as one, we were mourning as a nation undivided. Never ever did SA experience such a phenomena like we were experiencing these past ten days.

White male or female were openly shedding a tear for this great African icon who chose to forgive, who chose to love, who chose to include white people into a democratic society together with people of colour.

Once again SA managed, even in a moment of grieve, to produce something special and wonderful for the whole world to witness. BBC, CBS, Al Jezeera, etc. all focused on this phenomena, this beautiful gesture of a nation mourning in unity. It was extra orderly to see and to experience.  

Now that all is said and done and the last soil covered Madiba's grave permanently, we are trying to come to terms with what has happened the last ten days. You open up google and you see Madiba's face, you go to Samsung my store on your tablet or phone and you see Madiba's face. You open up news 24 and you see Madiba's face. You look up to some big advertisement screen in many parts of the country and you see this beautiful person  smiling at you, reminding you of his humble, peaceful and lovely nature of doing things the right way.

We all see it, we all feel it, we all experience it together as one.

Madiba you have succeeded what no other man in this country has achieved:

You made us love you as a nation, you made us respect you as a nation, you made us believe in you as a nation, you made us trust you as a nation.

And now that the sun has set on you for the last time.....we miss you as nation, we long for you as a nation, we cry silently at night as a nation, we grieve as a nation, but we want to make you this one promise that we will live out your legacy as a nation to ensure that you WILL BE REMEBERED AS A NATION FOR MANY GENERATIONS.

As a nation we bid you farewell and as a nation we ask God to prepare a special place for you, so when it's our time to leave this earth, WE WILL MEET AGAIN AS A NATION!!!


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